Blind Child, The

DESCRIPTION: "They tell me, father, that tonight You'll wed another bride, That you will clasp her in your arms Where my dear mother died." The child asks about the new wife, and hopes she will be kind. The child dies, and goes to heaven where no one is blind
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1906 (Belden)
KEYWORDS: death mother father wife disease death
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,SE,So)
REFERENCES (16 citations):
Belden, pp. 275-276, "The Blind Child" (1 text plus mention of 4 more)
Randolph 724, "The Blind Child" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 472-473, "The Blind Child" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 724A)
AbrahamsRiddle, pp. 53-55, "Blind Child's Prayer" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownII 149, "The Blind Girl" (1 text plus mention of 12 more)
BrownSchinhanIV 149, "The Blind Girl" (3 excerpts, 3 tunes)
Morris, #57, "The Blind Girl" (1 text)
JHCoxIIB, #29, pp. 198-200, "The Blind Child's Prayer" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuson, p. 146, "The Blind Orphan" (1 text)
MHenry-Appalachians, pp. 128-129, "The Blind Girl" (1 text)
Boswell/Wolfe 66, pp. 108-109, "The Blind Child" (1 text, 1 tune)
Stout 59, pp. 79-80, "The Blind Girl" (1 text plus a fragment)
Neely, pp. 247-249, "The Blind Orphan" (1 text)
DT, BLNDCHLD*
ADDITIONAL: Fred W. Allsopp, Folklore of Romantic Arkansas, Volume II (1931), pp. 203-204, "(The Blind Girl)" (1 text)
Bill Ellis, "'The Blind Girl' and the Rhetoric of Sentimenal Heroism,'" article published 1978 in the _Journal of American Folklore_; republished on pp. 250-267 of Norm Cohen, editor, _All This for a Song_, Southern Folklife Collection, 2009

Roud #425
RECORDINGS:
Harvey Irwin, "The Blind Child" (OKeh 45014, 1925)
Bradley Kincaid, "The Blind Girl" (Champion 15968 [as Dan Hughey], 1930; Conqueror 7983, 1932)
Lester McFarland & Robert Gardner, "The Blind Child's Prayer" (Brunswick 167, 1927)
McMichen's String Band, "Blind Child's Prayer, pts. 1 & 2" (Columbia 15333-D, 1928)
Arnold Keith Storm, "The Blind Child" (on AKStorm01)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "I Cannot Call Her Mother (The Marriage Rite is Over; The Stepmother)" (theme)
NOTES: Cohen remarks, "Frankly, I think the saccharine little miss is overdoing it." To this I saw, "Amen." However, Ellis (p. 256 in the Cohen reprint) suggests that she responds to her situation "with constructive action," and goes on to demonstrate how she sticks it to her father. I'd still call it overdone.
As a matter of fact, from a biological standpoint, she blows it completely. Scott Forbes, A Natural History of Families, Princeton University Press, 2005, devotes significant sections of three chapters ("Family Harmony," "Cannibalism and Infanticide," and "Brave New Worlds") to parent-child conflicts, and makes the important point that, in the genetic sense, the parent can have other children just as closely related to him as any given child, but the child cannot. In other words, the father can replace the blind child, but the child cannot replace herself.
It is normal for children to try to get more out of their parents than they are getting (believe it or not, this conflict actually begins in utero, as mother and child fight a hormonal battle over the size of the placenta; see Forbes, pp. 66-75), but the blind child's strategy tries for too much and fails. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: R724

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